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  • Writer's pictureDennis Florentino

Nectar of the Ancients (how to brew cacao)

Brewing cacao is quite similar to brewing your favorite coffee. But here are a few tips to bring out the best in your cup! Although the methods of brewing have changed over the past few hundred years, the final cup and benefits of a fine brewed cacao are unmistakable! Start with our recommendations but experiment with steeping times and quantities of water or cacao to achieve your perfect cup.

Basic Brewing

Using a French press, add a minimum of 1 heaping tablespoon of cacao for each cup (6-8 oz). Two tablespoons is even better and will give you a richer more velvety feel. Add filtered, boiling water and stir allowing the cacao to steep for 8-10 minutes. Yes, that is a lot more time than standard coffee or tea, but your patience will be rewarded. The longer steep time allows the cacao to release its most decadent flavors and maximizes its benefits. Press the plunger and enjoy your chocolatey delight!

Cold Brewing

Like coffee, cold-brewing cacao is great! The downside to cold-brewing cacao is the amount of cacao needed to achieve the same amount of flavor and benefits in a cup. Heat from boiling water in the French press method, really helps to bring out the flavors and is our favorite way to prepare cacao. The cold-brewing process requires twice as much cacao to achieve similar results. If you would like to try it (and you should at least once), add a half cup of cacao to a container with 1 liter of filtered water, cover, and place in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. This brewing method is perfect for hot summer days but really tries your patience waiting for it to be done! Once it is done, filter the cacao and enjoy!

Adding Flavors

The ancients didn't just enjoy their cacao straight-up. They also added other ingredeitns to enhance the flavor and benefits of their elixir. Honey and vanilla were common additives, but a bit of heat from peppers, like cayenne, were also used. We have combined these flavors to perfection in our Mayabü Xocolatl taking the guesswork out of the equation and producing a distinctive drink that, not only tastes terrific, but has the many benefits of it's combined ingredients. If you enjoy a bit of cream in your coffee, you will love it in brewed cacao! Heavy whipping cream, or even coconut and soy milks, turn an already decadent drink into and explosion of milk-chocolaty goodness!

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